Did you make some lofty New Year’s resolutions this year? Did they involve having more fun, bringing people together, or discovering brand-new delicious cocktails? If so, we’re here to help! Buzzfeed called us one of 23 Subscription Boxes to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution (and also one of the boxes to get if you need help adulting!).
And now we hope you’re excited to get your buzz on (Buzzfeed—buzz—get it??) with March’s Kiss Me, I’m Whiskey Box and learn to enjoy Irish whiskey in a whole new way! Subscribe now through February 28th to get yours—it’ll ship the week of March 6th (with plenty of time to spare before 🍀 St. Paddy’s Day! 🍀 ).
Soon we’ll be transitioning again—from strident winter to welcoming spring (hey, we’re optimistic)—and Will Thompson has created a lovely lighter drink (not quite what you might expect from a whiskey cocktail) to take us seamlessly from one season to the other. The apricot in our spiced orange-apricot syrup delivers a sneak peek of the upcoming season, while the flavors of clove and allspice (and the hint of bitter from the muddled orange rind) keep us tastefully grounded right where we are. Enjoy the Mighty Craic Cobbler day or night.
Will has been bartending in Boston for close to a decade, having started at Drink and then doing the rounds at many of the city’s cocktail bars. He’s currently the beverage director at Ruka, Lolita Cocina, and Yvonne’s.
Sour and sweet and perfectly complete with a punch of smoky heat, the Spice of Life by Elle Maeyaert of The Local in Minneapolis has it all. The house sour that Elle is sharing with us here—her personal recipe—is not your average sour mix. This blend of three different citrus juices and brown sugar adds an interesting richness that really complements the whiskey. She’s also upped the ante on the syrup by adding chipotle peppers and maple, for a delicious smoke factor that’s anything but simple. Bottoms up!
Elle Maeyaert got her start as a bartender 16 years ago, and is still as passionate about her career as ever. Just this year she won the St. James Gate Perfect Pint award for her work at The Local in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She’s proud to have her name on cocktails and house-made liqueurs on menus at the iconic Dakota Jazz Club and other bars across the city.
The Tea & Honey by Stephen Berry—with its soothing chamomile and honey combo—will ease you down after a stressful day. And it’s as beautiful to behold as it is to savor! Keep in mind, though, that “a garnish is there not only to make a drink beautiful,” as Stephen explains, “but also to influence your sense of smell and how you enjoy the drink.” In this mellow sipper, the vanilla-infused Angostura bitters and aromatic sage really add to your overall experience as you imbibe.
This drink’s not vegan as it does include honey and call for a raw egg white (though the egg won’t be included in the box—we weren’t quite ready to take on that shipping challenge!—and we can recommend Ms. Better’s Miraculous Foamer as an alternative). Utilized properly, raw egg whites give cocktails a texture and body you can’t get any other way. They’re an important component of a traditional sour cocktail and have been used in classics for centuries. So if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make an egg white cocktail, now’s your chance! (Get a sneak preview in this egg-cellent blog post.)
Stephen—a bartender for the last decade, but in the industry since 1999—manages the bar program at Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine in Sacramento, California, where he helped curate one of the city’s extensive whiskey selections, along with an incredibly innovative cocktail menu and wine program. For more from Stephen on his work as a bartender, the scene in Sacramento, and more, check out our interview, where you can get the details behind his cocktail (plus recommendations for food and music to pair with it!).
Whether you’re a newcomer to Ireland’s “water of life” or a connoisseur, we think these cocktails will upend your expectations. Sláinte agus táinte!
The Shaker & Spoon Team